18 November 2010
Cycling Accident Injury Claim Settled for £280,000
I recently concluded a cycling accident injury case for a very pleaseant young woman, Doris Barrera-Torrico. The details of the case were reported in yesterday’s Evening Standard. After a 3 year battle we were able to settle Doris’ claim for £280,000. This really represented a fantastic result.
Doris’ accident occurred when she was cycling on the Holloway Road towards Archway. She was cycling along the nearside of 3 lanes and came up behind a stationary lorry. The lorry was held up at red traffic lights. The left hand lane was a filter lane for traffic turning left so Doris had to move towards the middle lane in order to continue along the Holloway Road.
Doris looked over her right shoulder and saw a lorry approximately 2 ½ lorry lengths away from her. She assumed it was safe for her to move into the middle lane. Unfortunately, the driver of the approaching lorry did not see Doris and picked up speed. As Doris was by the rear of the other lorry and she was struck by the approaching lorry and squashed between the 2 vehicles. The rear 2 wheels of the approaching lorry ran over her right leg.
Doris suffered extremely serious injuries to her right leg, which she has had to undergo a long course of surgery to repair. Even so, she remains significantly disabled. At the time of Doris's cycling accident injury her English was poor. She had only been living in the UK for a few months when this accident happened. In view of this I instructed a bi-lingual Spanish speaking barrister, Alejandra Hormaeche of Tanfield Chambers. I took the view that it was important that Doris was able to receive legal advice in her native tongue.
Doris’ case was fiercely contested by the Defendant’s insurance company. The Defendants attempted to argue that the Defendant lorry was stationary at the traffic lights and that Doris had attempted to squeeze between 2 stationary vehicles. This version of events was wrong and vigorously disputed by Doris’ legal team. The conclusion of Doris' case came at the same time as the launch of the 2 Way Street campaign. This was run in partnership between Slater and Gordon and UK’s National Cycle Organisation, CTC and was designed to promote awareness between cyclists and HGV drivers.
Shortly before the case went to trial the parties agreed an apportionment of liability on a 70/30 basis in Doris’ favour. Within weeks of this agreement the entire claim was settled in the sum of £280,000.
The settlement provides compensation for Doris’ personal injuries, past and future loss of earnings as well as her care needs. Doris is currently a student at the University of Surrey in Roehampton and plans to work as a music therapist. Doris’ case was funded by a Conditional Fee Agreement, more commonly known as a No Win No Fee arrangement.
I am very pleased that we were able to help Doris after such a nasty cycling acident. She is an amazing young woman and I wish her all the very best for the future.
Paul Kitson is a joint head of the Personal Injury team at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London. He frequently acts as a Solicitor for the CTC and specialises exclusively in cycle accident claims.
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